It is official; the Bible is the most popular book in America according to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll among 2,513 adults. Surprised? Not really. What is surprising is how a book can be so popular and yet so few put what the book proclaims into practice. We need only look to other social trends to see popularity has little to do with practicality. It is not that the Bible lacks power. No, we simply lack the will to put the power into practice.
James 1:22 sums up the age old problem, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” The Bible may be popular, but few are really putting the Bible into practice. We listen. We look. We talk. But the reality of God’s Word fails to make it into our walk. Where are the doers of the Word?
Too many Christians attend church week after week soaking up preaching from the Word of God. Few people take time to read their Bible on a daily basis, and even fewer learn to live out what they have learned. It is pitiful. Like over-soaked sponges, we return to the watering hole for more and more spiritual food while the world starves to death looking for the truth. We hoard what we get from the Lord and fail to share the wealth of knowledge and insight we have gained from years and years of exploring the most popular book in America.
It is time we dust off our Bibles, come out from behind the most popular book in America and put our love into action. Baptists are a people of the Book, by the Book and for the Book. The Bible is our authority and guide for Christian life. Unfortunately, all too often, we are content to draw spiritual nourishment from yet another Bible study, huddled in our comfortable small group, key word-small, while failing to be doers of the Word.
It is time we capitalize on the most popular book in America. Book clubs have sprung up in cafes, coffee shops and dining rooms all across America. Rather than allowing celebrities, talk show hosts and commentators to provide suggested readings, what do you say we come up with some suggested reading of our own?
What might happen if for 30 days a group of believers decided to invite neighbors, family and friends to a one-month book club to simply read the book of Proverbs? Participants could be encouraged to read a chapter a day and then to meet once a week to discuss what they have read. Imagine what might happen if at the end of the study they made the decision to put what they learned into practice by becoming doers of the Word. There is a good possibility that lives would be changed both from within and outside the group, and that the book club would continue to meet for months to come, discovering new insights from God’s Word on a daily basis.
Is this a surprising idea? It shouldn’t be. Let’s decide to do our part to not only make the Bible America’s most popular book, let’s put the most popular book in America to practice in our daily lives.